Leptospirosis: preventive measures stepped up in the Nilgiris

The Health Department is taking steps to control the spread of leptospirosis, after two people from the Nilgiris were confirmed to have been infected with leptospira bacteria recently.

Deputy Director of Health Services S. Porkudi told
The Hindu
that since the Nilgiris was located along the Tamil Nadu – Kerala border, there was a large movement of people from both States through the district. “As both Wayanad and Malappuram have reported an outbreak of leptospirosis after the massive floods there last month, we have alerted all doctors in government hospitals, PHCs and private medical centres about the need to screen patients for leptospirosis,” said Dr. Porkudi.

A leptospirosis testing kit has also been brought in to the public health lab located in Udhagamandalam, she added. “We have instructed the doctors to test patients complaining of fever and who have a travel history to Kerala,” she said, adding that of the two persons in the Nilgiris who tested positive for leptospirosis, one regularly travelled to Kerala and Karnataka for work. “The two were referred to CMCH and have since been treated and discharged,” she said.

As Gudalur has a sizeable population of Malayalis living there, who regularly travel between the two States, programmes are being conducted to create awareness among the people about the disease.

An orientation programme is to be held by the Health Department for all government doctors and private practitioners about the symptoms to look out for in people possibly infected with the bacteria.

People in Gudalur have been told to keep their premises clean to discourage rats and bandicoots from entering their homes, while health inspectors have been asked to ensure that water supplied to homes is chlorinated and safe to drink.

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